The Sad Demise of Norwest

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The Sad Demise of Norwest

Back in early 2013 Zach Matich sent me the top photo of Norwest. Zach also supplied the details below.
This last weekend Jason Prew was mooching over on the West Coast and snapped the photos showings the final resting place of Norwest on the Kaipara Harbour.
“The Norwest was built in Whakapirau in 1909 by Arthur Forester. She was named the Kuaka, the Maori name for Curlew, and had “Kuaka” written on her port side and “Curlew” on her starboard side. She was built for a Mr Adams who had a pear orchard just down the harbour from Whakapirau on what is now the Cullen farm. She was designed so that Mr Adams crippled daughter could wheel her wheelchair around the deck, and was used for transporting fruit to Helensville for the markets. She was powered by a Union Standard single cylinder ‘Make and Brake’ motor and had a swinging cradle for 6 wet cell batteries. This motor is now in the private collection of Darcy Sterling at Maungataroto.
After lying idle for some years the Kuaka was sold to Mr Cliff of Paparoa in 1919. Mr Cliff took her to Pahi and re-corked and painted her and added a new piece to the stern post which was suffering from dry rot. he used her for taking picnic parties down the harbour and moored her when not in use up the Paparoa Creek behind what is now the Paparoa Pub. There was a huge flood in Paparoa in 1923 and the Kuaka was picked up by the flood, carried over the bridge and placed in a paddock on the other side with no damage to her at all. When Mr Cliff passed away in 1924 his sons sold her to a Dr Marshall, from, I believe up Port Albert way who in turn sold her to Mr West who owned West’s Timber Mill in Helensville. It was at this time that she was renamed the ‘Norwest’ after Nora West, Mr Wests wife. She was used for about the next 20 years up until 1945 towing logs all over the Kaipara Harbour, and then in about 1945 Harold Stanaway bought her, followed by Dink Jolly, and then Everard Judd bought her for $250.00 for towing barges. By this time she was in a terrible state so he employed Rodney Morgan, a boat builder to more or less rebuild the hull and cabin.
Everard Judd sold her to Murray Prictor of Port Albert in the late 60’s who is turn sold her soon after to somebody on the East Coast and the history is pretty vague after leaving the West Coast. We do know that some time was spent up the Clevedon Creek and we also know that she has been used as a fishing boat on that coast. 
She was brought back to the Kaipara by Stafford and Rosemary Hill.
Unsure who currently owns her.”
Update 11-07-2019. photos below taken in 2015 by Dave Stanaway

17 thoughts on “The Sad Demise of Norwest

  1. Stafford and Rosemary Hill bought the Norwest in 1985 on the east coast at Warkworth. She was bought back to Dargaville on the Avoca transporter with Bill Rose driving accompanied by Rosemary Hill and Bob Siegel but not before she was taken to the Kaiwaka Pub (there is a photo somewhere of her on the transporter parked outside the pub) Stafford was not on this job as he had to work. She was put on the slip and was worked on inside and out. What a beautiful little boat she was when at last put back in the water. She then was a pleasure launch for Stafford, Rosemary and Sam for nearly 15 years before being swapped for a tinny and a few bob around 1999 when she was taken to Te Kopuru.


  2. My Father Stafford Hill bought this back to the Kaipara from Auckland when I was a kid spent most of my life as a child on her in the Kaipara. Very very sad to see her in the state she’s in. I am sure I have quite a few photos and details from my late dad i will have to investigate


  3. she wasn’t great when she sank, now there’s 10x more work, nope, you’re right, I can’t see this one coming out the other side.


  4. Can I put it out there, that the type of person who lets this happen to a boat isn’t going to be the type of person who has a change of heart and sees a restoration through…


  5. Norwest has been dug out and floated to the ramp at Te Kopuru Boating Club Inc. last year and awaiting for commodore’s (owner) decision. Hull and main cabin frames in quite good cond. No worms in TK. …well not in the water. Contact Dennis for info.


  6. CAMERON POLLARD RE Te Kopuru WORMS .. Could you bring expertise to Helensville where this armchair sailor espied fat D /Ender needful also having been told will be wormy in her mudbed together with provenance potential etc ?? THANKS for such scholarly work ..RICHARD


  7. Could some one give me her current location please?

    Feb 2020

    Hopefully Jason Prew will read this & reply, he took the photos. Alan H


  8. My father brought this boat in approximately 1976. He tricked her from Kaipara to Clevedon, where she spent time in dry dock while he fixed her up. She was them moved out to various points, including Kawakawa Bay, where she was used for long lining, and then later she was moored in East Tamaki. We had many awesome adventures in her, including several trips to Gt Barrier. Due to her history, we were often tasked with towing broken down vessels back!


  9. We have one thats perfect for you Murray. Mite even toss a captains hat in with the deal.


  10. My fleet needs reducing not enlarging Mr Pollard, will have to leave her for a braver soul, though I agree I have seen worse dug out.


  11. Reminds me of the fate of Arthur Forrester’s 24ft mullet boat TARLEE which he built at Whakapirau in 1897. We identified her upturned hull in the mud at Paparoa in 1989, those days too far gone to contemplate rescuing. Forrester had spent some time working for Robert Logan and spotted good kauri for the Logans on the Kaipara for many years.


  12. There is no worm issues at te kopuru. Worse have been dug out.
    Warehouse has winter specials on gumboots so good project for you Murray. 😁


  13. Mooching over at the west coast– getting ideas for a conning tower to keep the head warm in winter perhaps….


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